As you would imagine from my lack of posting, I didn’t get the job — but I didn’t find out until Tuesday morning, and thus wasted four days feeling hopeful and not taking care of business like I should.
It didn’t help that an old, old friend of mine… yes, this is going to be a “serious business” reference to a Facebook post sending me into a despair spiral, I’m sure you’ve missed those! Suffice to say this guy went from being a Bart Simpson-esque “bad boy” when I knew him at school, to a complete IT geek as an adult, and he’s been working in the industry longer than me and seems to think I’ll have no alternative but to accept another debilitating shift-based job for a year or two, if I want to break into IT.
However, on Tuesday evening I went to yoga and felt better, supporting the guy who runs the classes and meeting some old friends there, and was able to swallow my pride and ask my mother for a loan so I could pay my personal trainer for five more torture sessions. In other words, I’ve taken the decision to be happy again and do the things I enjoy, rather than worrying all the time — after all, what’s the point of being in London if I can’t?
And I’m still getting interviews arranged for me, sometimes at very short notice (like the one I attended today, which genuinely seems too good to be true) — though something troubles me: with the exception of an interview at a school I had during my internship, literally everyone who’s interviewed me face-to-face for an IT job so far has been Middle Eastern or from the Indian subcontinent (though generally with an English accent) — no-one has been white, black, Far Eastern, American Indian or any other ethnicity!
I know England’s a melting pot, and London even more so — and don’t worry, there’s no chance of me voting BNP (or even, $DEITY help me, UKIP) in an effort to “send ’em back where they came from” — but it’s a weird coincidence, isn’t it? Maybe I’m reading too much into things, and need to get on with that blog entry I’ve been planning where I analyse myself to see if I’m getting racist in my old age, but still, I am feeling just a little bit like my white British ethnicity could be holding me back in an age of positive discrimination.
Of course, it cuts both ways: I heard the tragic story at my IT agency of a Middle Eastern guy who was getting interview after interview but never succeeding, and was about to give up when finally someone accepted him… and then let him go because his English wasn’t good enough, leading him to give up on his dream of working in IT and go back to working for a betting shop.
That brings me to my main point: I’M NOT GIVING UP! No, while I may have lost interest in geology or astrophysics after studying them (though I do regret not being involved with Rosetta — perhaps in another world I landed it like a pro thanks to all my video games experience?), just because I had a lousy shift-based job that wasn’t even a proper IT helpdesk role anyway, doesn’t mean I regret leaving admin and wish I could take it all back. Despite not being paid, and having a 90-minute journey each way, I enjoyed working for the helpdesk at that London college in September and October, and that’s the kind of work I want to continue doing — on a weekday basis, though of course I’d be happy to help out after hours now and then.
(Did I ever tell you about my old university friend, who was studying Geology & Astrophysics, and went into IT as a career? Am I also going to get an ulcer, just like him?!)
It’s possible that my lack of success so far has been due to me being a bit too formal at interview, and not loosening up enough; it’s been suggested to me that they may not care about my lack of practical experience in IT (well, practical in an actual employment situation), but would be willing to take me on and train me up if they felt I’d fit in nicely with the team. Certainly, when I got that job in November (sorry, last time I’ll refer to it for now), I mentioned how I tend to bring in a box of Krispy Kremes on special occasions… perhaps the way to an employer’s heart is through their stomach!
I do hope I get a job soon — apart from the stigma of being “on benefits”, I feel like I can’t make plans or spend too much money (hence the loan from the maternal unit), and I really need to get a new PSU for my computer, as the one I have is nearly six years old and the fan’s going! Still, at least I managed to stop the thing crashing when playing games (stopped overclocking and things immediately went back to normal), so my IT skills are unaffected by my troubles… how can anyone say I don’t have enough practical experience now?!